The development and codification of religious and cultural traditions
1 / 40

The Development and Codification of Religious and Cultural Traditions - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

The Development and Codification of Religious and Cultural Traditions. A vibrant Hindu Temple. Yahweh’s “Covenant” With His People. Yahweh is the Hebrew name for God. The first 5 books of the Hebrew Bible. The most sacred text in the Jewish religious tradition. The Torah.

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.

Download Presentation

The Development and Codification of Religious and Cultural Traditions

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript

The Development and Codification of Religious and Cultural Traditions

A vibrant Hindu Temple

Yahweh’s “Covenant” With His People

Yahweh is the Hebrew name for God

  • The first 5 books of the Hebrew Bible.

  • The most sacred text in the Jewish religious tradition.

The Torah

The Ancient Hebrews

Look at the various stages of migration the early Hebrews went through due to their monotheistic beliefs…this is the rationale for the covenant and the Hebrews believing they are the “Chosen People” since they endured so much.

Israel was known as Palestine. Palestine’s location along the eastern Mediterranean made it a desirable location.

Many empires wished to control throughout history.

According to Jewish history, this land was the land set aside for them when Abraham made his covenant with God

But since it was desirable, Jews were often subjugated (being under the control of someone else)


Another Impact: The Jewish Diaspora by the Romans

Diaspora comes from the Greek word for scattering or dispersion. A diaspora, often is not by choice, but does lead to cultural diffusion and/or increased discrimination.

Click on the big play button to the right. It will take you to a URL and you will see how the Jews were impacted by the growth of the Roman Empire overtime. Once you are on the site, e sure to click on the yellow blinking arrow to show the movement of the Jews and read the text so you can see the impacts.


  • Believed to be chronologically very close to the time when Judaism developed

  • Also founded in the Middle East but not as close to the Mediterranean Sea. It was deeper in the region (perhaps this is why it didn’t spread as much as Judaism and Christianity)

  • Became the religion of the Persian Empire

Zoroastrianism Temple in Iran (Persia).

Consider the terrain…not easy to access

Impact of Zoroastrianism

  • In 549 BCE, the Persians, led by Cyrus the Great of the Archaemenian family, founded the first Persian Empire.

  • Cyrus the Great was relatively liberal. While he himself ruled according to Zoroastrian beliefs, he made no attempt to impose Zoroastrianism on the people of his subject territories.

  • The Jews most famously benefited from this; Cyrus permitted them to return to Jerusalem in Palestine, from exile in Babylon, and rebuild their temple. This act of kindness made a huge impact on Judaism. Quite different from the persecution they had grownaccustomed to.


Christianity: Jesus’ Mission


Agony in the Garden


The original Christians were Jews that saw Jesus as the Messiah (savior) that was spoken of in the Bible. He died so that others may live.

St. Paul’s Impact – Early Spread of Christianity

Christianity spread out of Palestine during the early Roman Empire. Paul the Apostle was credited with this. Many of the Roman Emperors saw Christianity as a threat to their power because some emperors wished to be worshipped as gods. Christians however, worshiped a different God, so many were persecuted for a while in the Roman Empire.

Impact: Edict of Milan 313 CE

  • Issued in 313 CE by Roman Emperor Constantine

  • The Edict (order or command) religious toleration throughout the Empire

  • Therefore, Christians were free to practice without persecution…Christianity became very popular throughout Europe

    as a result

Painting depicting Emperor Constantine and his co-emperor issuing the edict

Aryan Migration HINDUISM

  • pastoral  depended on their cattle.

  • warriors  horse-drawn chariots.

The Vedas

  • 1200 BCE-600 BCE.

  • written in Sanskrit after the Aryans settled

  • Hindu core of beliefs:

    • hymns and poems.

    • religious prayers.

    • magical spells.

    • lists of the gods and goddesses.

Rig Veda oldest work.

The Caste System

Developed in order to keep the natives of the Indus (who outnumbered the Aryan invaders) subordinated in lower classes. The Aryans wanted to remain on top of the social structure.



  • The mouth?

  • The arms?

  • The legs?

  • The feet?




Priests and Scholars 


Merchants and artisans

Servants and laborers-


The caste system helped to show where people were in society. It was thought that the caste you were born into was the result of the actions of your past life. Although the body dies, the soul does not and that is what gets reborn. The caste you are born into had certain rules and jobs and therefore you could only associate with the people of your caste. If you followed these rules you would have good karma. Good karma led to your next life being born into a higher caste. This cycle of reincarnation would continue until your soul was reunited with an all knowing spirit. This culmination was called Moksha and it ended the cycle of rebirth

In addition to religious purposes, the caste system served political, economic and social purposes.


ECO: Job Specialization

SOC: Structure and Order


  • This religion was founded by Siddartha Guatama who was born into the Kshatriya caste.

  • He lived in a large palace and had everything he needed but he had a desire to leave the security of his palace. When he did, he came across people from the lower castes. He noticed how they were suffering. He decided that it was the caste system that caused this.

  • He began to seek other reasons for suffering and before long he had found a way to reach enlightenment…nirvana.

  • Thus, Buddhism is a religion that broke away from Hinduism.

  • Can you think of other religions that developed from another religion?

What is the goal of Buddhism? reach Nirvana. It is similar to Hindus reaching Moksha. Buddhist reach this goal differently

 First they accept the Four Noble Truths

The Four Noble Truths

1. Life means suffering.

2. The origin of suffering is attachment.

3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.

4. The path to the cessation of suffering.

The Fourth Noble Truth is to follow the Eightfold path… and by following it, you reach Nirvana and the cycle of rebirth ends!

Spread of Buddhism and Impact

Based upon the map, how do you think Buddhism spread? Why did it take on different forms?

Buddhism spread by trade. Since it left its place of origin it diffused into areas where there were pre-established religious traditions. It would not be identical to the original form. That is why different sects came about. It has become more popular outside of an India than in India

Theravada Buddhism

Way to remember…starts with THE…think THE original teachings of Buddhism

  • The oldest school of Buddhism.

  • The “Way of the Elders” or the “Small Vehicle.”

  • Found in south Asia.

  • The monastic life (monks) is the best way to achieve nirvana.

  • Focus on wisdom and meditation.

  • Goal is to become a “Buddha,” or “Enlightened One.”

  • Over 100,000,000 followers today.

  • Mahayana Buddhism

  • Way to remember…sounds like the beginning of the word is MAY…MAY see Buddha as a God

  • The sect that was developed when Buddhism spread out of India.

  • Found in East Asia (China, Korea and Japan).

  • Buddhism “for the masses.” The masses of East Asia needed to deify Buddha.

  • Goal: Not just individual escape from the cycle of reincarnation, but the salvation of all humanity through self-sacrifice of those enlightened few.


A Buddhist TEMPLE and Altar



  • More of a philosophy than a religion

  • It was a philosophy that helped to keep society structured by emphasizing the group over the individual

5 Principle Relationships



2. Father


3. Husband



4. Older


5. Friend

The Analects

  • The single most important Confucian work.

  • In Chinese, it means “conversation.”

  • Focus on practicalities of interpersonal relationships and the relationship of the role of rulers and ministers and how they conduct of government.

Some Quotes from the Analects…What are they saying?

  • Knowing what he knows and knowing what he doesn’t know, is characteristics of the person who knows.

  • Making a mistake and not correcting it, is making another mistake.

  • The superior man blames himself; the inferior man blames others.

  • To go too far is as wrong as to fall short.

Confucianism Impact

  • The 4th dynasty of China, the Han, completely embraced the philosophy

  • The government under an emperor by the name of Wudi appreciated Confucianism so much that he created a test to get a job in the government

  • The test was based almost entirely on Confucian philosophy

  • Wudi did this so he could have moral and ethical government officials who earned their position rather than being born into it

Students taking the civil service test based on Confucianism

Daoism – Was it in competition with Confucianism or something that can be practiced alongside of it?

  • The basic text of Daoism was Daodejing

  • In Chinese, it means The Classic in the Way and Its Power.

  • “Those who speak know nothing: Those who know are silent.” These words, I am told, Were spoken by Laozi. If we are to believe that Laozi, Was himself one who knew, How is it that he wrote a book, Of five thousand words?

The Universe of Opposites:

Find the Balance!


  • Masculine

  • Active

  • Light

  • Warmth

  • Strong

  • Heaven; Sun

* Feminine

* passive

* Dark

* Cold

* Weak

* Earth; Moon


Daoism’s Impact

  • The central focus is to keep a balance in everything you do since…

  • nature has the ability to be unbalanced at time such as floods, drought etc.

  • The Chinese believe this imbalance is nature’s way of appreciating things when everything is balanced…sun, right amount of rain

  • Due to so many of society depending on the natural environment it was a way to explain away the catastrophes that can occur.

Traditional African Religion


1. Belief in one remote Supreme Being.

2. A world of spirits (good & bad) in all things.

3. Ancestor veneration (worship).

4. Belief in magic and charms.

5.Diviner mediator between the tribe and God.

A Modern Day Diviner…

also known as a Shaman

East Asia- Japan and Shinto

Japan is located on the “Ring of Fire” which means is part of the Pacific Rim that is frequented with earthquakes, volcanic activity and tsunamis.

It was believed that nature spirits or “kamis” controlled these forces of nature.

There is a deep respect for nature due to the powerful forces at work.

The flag features a red sun on a cool white background. Traditionally seen as the sun goddess

In the 7th century BCE, legend holds she gave birth to its first emperor, Jimmu.

Even today the emperor is known as the "Son of the Sun" and the popular name for the country is "Land of the Rising Sun.”



Fear and

respect of





nature spirits

Minimizesin &guilt

Torii Gate, Miyajima Island

A Torii is a entrance to a Shinto Shrine. Why is this one in the water?

A Torii gate in the mountains in the midst of snow

Impacts of Shinto

  • Kami =divine spirit in nature

  • Kaze = wind

  • KAMIKAZE = Divine Wind

  • Think about the glider planes the Japanese used to dive bomb our US Naval Vessels during WWII

Notice the Red Sun on the side of the plane

This is what Islam means!

ISLAM : Submission to the

Will of Allah

  • Muhammad received his first revelation from the angel Gabriel in 610.

  • 622 Muhammed flees Mecca for Medina.* The beginning of the Muslim calendar .

  • Muhammad’s revelations were compiled into the Qur’an after his death.

  • THE FIVE PILLARS are essential Islamic Doctrine

  • Sharia body of Islamic law to regulate daily living.

Mosque in Istanbul

A Mosque is a place of Islamic Worship.

Look at the Minarets

They serve a similar purpose to church bells

A muezzin (a chosen person to call people to prayer) would climb up the Minaret and would sing out that it is time to pray. This happens 5 times per day according to the Five Pillars

Impact of Islam

  • Has been the fastest growing religion in history and is the newest of the monotheistic faiths

  • Beginning in 661 CE, some 40 years after it began, Islam spread rapidly out of the Arabian Peninsula and spread in westward direction across Africa to Spain and eastward to the Indus river Valley period.

  • By the 800s it had spread down to the east Coast of Africa by trade and all the way to Southeast Asia

The Crescent moon and Star is often seen as a symbol of Islam

  • Login